If Senate lacks rules on Cha-cha, adopt House's or join hearings

If Senate lacks rules on Cha-cha, adopt House’s or join hearings — solon

/ 01:32 PM March 04, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker David Suarez has suggested that the senators either adopt their rules in hearing proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, or join the committee of the whole hearings amid concerns that the Senate has no guidelines on discussing constitutional amendments.

In a press briefing on Monday, Suarez was asked about concerns raised by Senators Francis Escudero and Koko Pimentel about the Senate’s lack of guidelines on proposing and discussing constitutional amendments, in contrast to the House’s rules.

The senators were referring to Sections 143 and 144 of House Rules XXI, which laid out rules that House lawmakers would follow in terms of filing, discussing, and adopting resolutions pushing for constitutional amendments.


READ: Escudero: Clarify ‘rules of the Senate’ on adoption of Cha-cha proposals


“Well if they don’t have rules to continue their RBH 6 as mentioned by Senator Chiz and Senator Koko, maybe the best advice is, they can always go here to Congress because we already have governing rules or they can always adopt the rules the House is conducting itself with,” Suarez told reporters.

“We in the House, we’ve been very transparent from Day 1, you can see how deliberations have been conducted here and you see that we are following rules based on the Rules of the House, so for the Senate, you can adopt our rules, or if not you can join us in the deliberations.  And we can be one happy family,” he added.

Suarez hopes senators can finish crafting its rules, considering several hearings have already taken place to discuss the Senate’ Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6.

Senator Sonny Angara, who heads the subcommittee tackling RBH No. 6, said the March 5 hearing would push through despite the lack of rules.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, head of the committee on rules, will craft the necessary rule or amendment to facilitate discussions on proposed constitutional amendments.

“This has already been mentioned by Senate President Migz earlier that they have no rules to govern, so I hope they can address this issue because the hearings have already started, from what I know, and they started way ahead of the House, a month ahead of the House, so I hope they can address this issue,” Suarez explained.


READ: Cha-cha hearings to push through pending Senate rules review

Suarez also asked why senators who filed RBH No. 6 overlooked this matter, while Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman said creating the rules should not take so long.

“So my suggestion is maybe, let us look at it and appeal to our Majority Leader that he start proposing rules because he is one of the authors of RBH 6, they should have studied that already and prepared how and what are the processes needed to discuss that submitted resolution,” Suarez said.

“Actually, we have here Sections 143 and 144; these are two paragraphs only. Is it hard to write?  Our senators can do that, so we can really assess here if they can because that is not complicated; that’s just a set of guidelines.  Maybe it’s because we in the House of Representatives are accustomed to scenarios where if there is a situation, a query, immediately the committee on rules work to resolve it,” Roman added.

The Senate started discussing RBH No. 6 in early February, while the House started last February 26.  However, the House has already conducted more hearings as the chamber holds a committee of the whole hearings three days a week — from Monday to Wednesday, before and after the regular plenary session.

The committee of the whole discusses RBH No. 7, which was patterned after RBH No. 6.  Under both measures, the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” would be inserted in provisions about Filipino ownership of public utilities, basic education institutions, and advertising industries.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The phrase would allow Congress to pass laws that would prescribe the rate of foreign ownership for these industries.

TAGS: Cha-cha, House, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.